Earlier this week, St Andrew’s Hospice ran Death Cafes in the Community Hub at Freshney Place in Grimsby, as part of the nationwide Dying Matters Awareness Week, which runs from May 13-19.

At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death.

Our objective is 'to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives'.

A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session.

The theme for this year’s Dying Matters campaign is Are We Ready, and looks at the practical and emotional steps we all need to take to be ready for the end of our lives.

Opinion polls show that only about a third of people have written a will or thought about their funeral, and even fewer have thought about their end of life care, or made a decision about organ donation.

Karen Higgins, Head of Support and Wellbeing at St Andrew’s Hospice said: “We know that lots of people have questions or concerns about wills/funerals and we used our sessions to answer as many of those as possible. There was time to talk and laugh, because thinking about the end is often about what we love about life.”

Dying Matters is run by national hospice and palliative care charity Hospice UK, and brings together a broad coalition of organisations related to dying and bereavement, such as hospices, solicitors, funeral directors and grief support services.

Tracey Bleakley, the CEO of Hospice UK said: “It’s always amazing to see the creativity and imagination that people bring to their Dying Matters events. I hope many people will take advantage of this chance to talk about a difficult topic in a friendly and supportive way. It isn’t easy to talk about death, but it’s important that we all do.”

For further details on the services offered by St Andrew’s Hospice, please call 01472 350 908.

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